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Family files lawsuit after serious accident

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GREENFIELD — A Pendleton family is suing a Hancock County man who caused a serious accident near CRs 1000N and 675E in Fortville last May, court documents state.

Thomas “Rick” Taylor of Shirley and three young children were westbound on CR 1000N in a Chevrolet Silverado when he went through a stop sign at the intersection at CR 675E without stopping, according to police reports.

Melanie Jones, 30; and her daughter, Ella, 8, of Pendleton, were northbound on CR 675E in a Chevrolet Impala when Taylor went through the intersection. Jones did not have a stop sign and hit the truck, police said.

The vehicles came to rest in a field at the northwest corner of the intersection after the impact.

No one in the pickup truck was wearing a seat belt, according to police reports. Taylor’s son, Carson, 10; and daughter, Alexis, 11, were both airlifted from the scene to Riley Children’s Hospital in Indianapolis. Family friend Mason Brinson, 11, received minor injuries.

The Joneses, who have filed a complaint against Taylor in Hancock County Superior Court 1, were taken to Hancock Regional Hospital for minor injuries. Both were wearing seat belts when the accident occurred, police said.

A preliminary breath test indicated Taylor had been drinking, but because his blood-alcohol content was at the legal threshold, .08 percent, a blood test had to be sent to the Indiana State Police Laboratory for further analysis.

The Hancock County Sheriff’s Department recently received the results of that test, and officials are preparing to present the case to the Hancock County prosecutor’s office for consideration.

Police declined to comment about the final results of Taylor’s blood work.

In the complaint, the Joneses assert Taylor had “a duty not to operate a motor vehicle while impaired by alcohol” and caused Melanie and Ella Jones to suffer “physical and emotional injuries, which might be permanent in nature.”

The complaint does not state a dollar amount the family is seeking but asks the court to award “an amount sufficient to reasonably compensate … for the damages incurred and injuries sustained.”

The suit also names the United Services Automobile Association, asserting Taylor’s truck was “underinsured” at the time of the accident.

Taylor did not return a call seeking comment.

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